Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yankees revamp can't just revolve on Lee

The New York Yankees are setting themselves up for potential trouble if their entire plan to revamp the team revolves around Cliff Lee.

Most of the baseball world assumes that Lee will take the biggest contract he can get, which undoubtedly will come from the Yankees. But what if, after vanquishing the Yankees, Lee sees the Bronx Bombers as a team on the decline, with an aging roster and many problems despite their massive payroll? What if new owner Nolan Ryan, a legendary pitcher himself, knows what he has in his ace, has visions of a possible dynasty and refuses to let him leave, emptying his pockets with a contract offer that Lee finds reasonable? What if Lee decides he has finally found his baseball home in Texas after multiple trades and pulls a Roy Halladay, signing for a lot less than he can get on the open market?

Lee wouldn't be the first stud pitcher to reject the Yankees. Future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux declined to wear the pinstripes, preferring to remain in a more sedate baseball home in Atlanta. Roger Clemens famously spurned the Yankees, even after lifting weights with George Steinbrenner, until he realized he couldn't win that elusive World Series ring without them.

Lee is widely depicted in the media as a hired gun aiming for the biggest score. What if it's not true? What if Lee is not willing to let money be the biggest factor in deciding where he will play the next five years of his baseball career? If that's the case, the Yankees better put away the wallet and come up with a back-up plan, one that doesn't revolve getting the best guy on the market.

Thanks to artolog and Fui in terra aliena via Wikipedia for the photo.

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